Amin’s WWE NXT Review: Io Shirai vs. Rhea Ripley


The show opened with a graphic in Memory of Shad Gaspard 


Gray charged but Kross caught and sent him flying with an overhead Doomsday Saito Suplex. Kross planted Gray with a bridging Northern Lights Suplex. Kross crushed Gray with a second Doomsday Saito Suplex. Kross then placed Gray in the Kross Jacket for the quick submission win. 


(Amin’s Analysis: A great showcase match presenting Kross as top star putting the rocket on his back.)

The big angle came after the match as Tommaso Ciampa returned. Ciampa introduced himself to Kross and noted everything here is his home. Ciampa brought up Kross attack and kinda wanted to praise him for going after one of the biggest stars. Ciampa noted NXT has the best professional wrestlers in the locker room. Ciampa mentioned Kross stood out and has a special entrance. Ciampa stood on the ring apron as Scarlett approached and held the ropes open for him. Ciampa noted he will face Kross at TakeOver: In Your House and called it special. Ciampa told Kross “Welcome to the main event.” Ciampa stood on the ring apron as he waved to both Kross and Scarlett.

(Amin’s Analysis: This was solid and what I liked most was there was no physical interaction between Ciampa and Kross. Ciampa cut a great promo building up the match and Kross first big program which should be great.)

My favourite Io Shirai will face Rhea Ripley in the main event. 

Highlight package hyping up the NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament. 


The match began with some mat wrestling as Fantasma and Tozawa battled for position. Fantasma delivered a floater suplex for a near fall. Tozawa connected with a Popup Hurricanrana, then connected with a flying head scissors to Fantama on the floor. Tozawa delivered a Cannonball Senton sending Fantasma crashing into the barricade.

Fantasma took control after hitting a running Frog Splash to Tozawa on the ring apron. Fantasma hit a Slingshot Senton for a near fall. Tozawa responded with a German Suplex. They battled on the turnbuckle as Tozawa went for Springboard Hurricanrana but Fantama countered by dropping him on the turnbuckle for a near fall. 

Tozawa delivered a bulldog and then his Senton Splash but Fantasma rolled to the floor. Tozawa charged but Fantasma caught him with a dropkick and then hit a tope. Fantasma called for the Phantom Driver but Tozawa countered into an Octopus Hold. Fantamsa broke free and delivered a Phantom Driver for the 1,2,3.


(Amin’s Analysis: Fantasma and Tozawa are two great wrestlers as they worked a solid match which had some great sequences leading to the finishAn expected victory for Fantama but this was a great showing for Tozawa showcasing his wrestling ability.)

Highlight package recapping the implosion between Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher. Thatcher noted he enjoyed pulling at Riddle’s arm. Thatcher noted he wants another match with Riddle and said pin falls don’t count. Thatcher challenged Riddle to a Knock Out or Tap Out Match. Thatcher told Riddle to pick the place.

Highlight package on Shotzi Blackheart who noted her moto in life is taking care of business. Shotzi noted she’s your daddy. Shotzi noted people like to take an Uber or drive a car. Shotzi noted she likes to drive a tank and called it her dirty blonde. Shotzi spoke about her dad. Shotzi brought up how she got into wrestling and noted how punk rock and wrestling go side by side. Shotzi called out Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai, Raquel Gonzales and Chelsea Green. Shotzi gave an example of what she will does she  ran over some bricks with her tank. Shotzi howled.

(Amin’s Analysis: A great vignette and promo by Shotzi going into detail behind her  character and why she drives around in a tank. Looks likes Shotzi’s next program will be against Kai or Green.)


The match began with Garrett and Yim exchanging arm drags and stereo dropkicks. Garrett delivered a handspring elbow and followed with a floater suplex for near fall. Yim made her comeback planting Garett with a Dragon Suplex and following with Protect Yo Neck for the 1,2,3.


Johnny Gargano came out and mocked Yim’s entrance. Candice LeRae noted Yim dropped the ball against Charlotte Flair. LeRae noted she’s would have dropped the bal and noted noted Yim took away her opportunity. Gargano explained he and LeRae wanted to show Yim what happens in their new NXT. A brawl broke out as Gargano pulled down the ropes helping LeRae send Yim to the floor. Keith Lee came out as Gargano and LeRae headed to the back. 

(Amin’s Analysis: A basic match and a simple win for Yim. The post-match angle was good likely setting up a Mixed Tag Team Match. Gargano and LeRae were awesome here and have shined since turning heel.)

Cameron Grimes vignette gloating about beating one of the greatest NXT Champions and inaugural WWE Universal Champion Finn Balor. Grimes noted he used to look up to Balor but not after he caved him in last week. Grimes said it’s Grimes Time.

(Amin’s Analysis: It was over-the-top and way to obnoxious but worked because Grimes should react like this after beating Balor.)

Drake Maverick pre-match promo saying he’s going to stop feeling sorry for himself and is going to win.


The match began with some nice chain wrestling. Lumis delivered a scoop slam and followed with a running leg drop. Lumis delivered a running bulldog as Strong rolled to the floor. Strong moved and Lumis went into the ring post. Strong planted Lumis with a backbreaker on the ring apron.

Strong delivered running forearm to Lumis and then delivered a backbreaker for a near fall. There was a neat spot as Strong went for a Cobra Clutch but Lumis kept staring at him. Strong delivered an Olympic Slam but Lumis kicked out. Strong called for the Strong Hold but Lumis broke free.

Lumis made his comeback delivering a Slingshot Suplex for a near fall. Strong delivered chops but Lumis no-sold it. Strong charged but Lumis caught him with a Spinebuster. The finish came Strong caught Lumis with a reverse Sunset Flip for the 1,2,3.


(Amin’s Analysis: Strong is such a great wrestler and delivered another solid performance. This was Lumis best outing on NXT and has completely bought into his silent but menacing character. The finish was a bit off guard if the idea is for Lumis to possible challenge for the NXT Title. But it kind of made up for it with the post-match angle which I will get into now.)

After the match, Lumis placed Strong in the Anaconda Vice. Cole and Fish came out as Lumis refused to release Strong from the hold. Velveteen Dream came out wearing an Undisputed Era T-Shirt sent Fish into the ring steps. Dream delivered a Superkick sending Cole over the barricade. Dream climbed the ropes and mocked the Undisputed Era’s pose. Dream leaped over the barricade and delivered the Purple Rainmaker to Cole on the floor. Lumis was shown rubbing Strong’s head.

(Amin’s Analysis: The post-match angle was effective as they look to setting up a possible Triple Threat Match for the NXT Title. Lumis reaction was solid when he had Strong in his grasp. My small nitpick is don’t like seeing wrestlers lose if they are in position to receive to a title shot.) 

They showed footage during the break of Fantama speaking to Tozawa. The masked wrestlers appeared and attacked Tozawa. Fantasma went to make the save but the masked wrestlers left. Fantasma went to check on Tozawa.


Burch nailed Parker with a running clothesline and followed with a missile dropkick. Burch nailed Martel with a head butt. Locan nailed Parker with a running clothesline.

Lorcan delivered a running blockbuster to Parker and then placed him in a Single Leg Boston Crab. Martel went to make the save but Burch placed him in a Crossface. Burch and Lorcan got the double submission win. Burch and Lorcan mocked Imperium’s pose after the match.


(Amin’s AnalysisA great showcase win for Burch & Lorcan as they make a real great team with their smash mouth style building them up for an eventual NXT Tag Team Title match.)

Keith Lee questioned who would record themselves having dinner at home. Lee told Gargano he will see him at TakeOver. 

My favourite Io Shirai was shown backstage warming up for her match.

Backstage, Matt Riddle said Thatcher wasn’t a Stallion and called him a putz. Riddle brought up Thatcher’s challenge and said the match will take place inside a cage.


The match began with some mat wrestling. Maverick applied a sunset flip for a near fall. Kushida delivered a shoulder tackle and followed with a basement dropkick. Kushida connected with a handspring elbow. Kushida delivered a reverse arm breaker as Jake Atlas appeared at ringside. Kushida delivered a cartwheel dropkick for a near fall.

Maverick delivered strikes and followed with a missile dropkick. Maverick planted Kushida with a Code Red for a two count. Kushida nailed Maverick with a pair of Shote’s. Kushida delivered a knee drop to Maverick’s arm.

Kushida went for Hoverboard Lock but Maverick grabbed the ropes. Kushida applied the Hoverboard Lock but Maverick placed his foot on the ropes. Kushida placed Maverick in a Hoverboard Lock against the ropes. Maverick went for Super Bulldog but Maverick countered into a flying arm bar. Maverick countered by applying a rollup for the 1,2,3.


Byron Saxton noted he got word from William Regal. Saxton noted Kushida will face Drake Maverick and Jake Atlas in a Triple Threat Match next week. The winner will face El Hijo Del Fantasma in the finals of the NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament.

(Amin’s Analysis: A great match as Kushida was the star showcasing his mat based technical wrestling style. Maverick was great here playing the babyface refusing to quit. You can tell the finish once Atlas appeared at ringside. I didn’t mind as they still made Kushida look good and having one more match in Group A.)

Highlight package hyping the main event between my favourite Io Shirai vs. Rhea Ripley.

Matches announced for next week on NXT 

  • Cage Match: Matt Riddle vs. Timothy Thatcher
  • Triple Threat Match: KUSHIDA vs. Drake Maverick vs. Jake Atlas

Damian Priest cut a promo nothing championships can wait because he’s focused on a bigger prize that’s Finn Balor who brought NXT on the map. Priest challenged Balor to a match at TakeOver. Priest noted Balor’s name will fall to ash and his name will live forever.

(Amin’s Analysis: Solid promo by Priest sounding confident giving his reason for wanting a match with Balor. This was good.)


The bell rang as Shirai delivered a dropkick to Ripley. Shirai racked Ripley in the back. Ripley delivered a pair of short-arm clotheslines and followed with a dropkick. Ripley went for a triple face buster but Shirai reversed into a double stomp for a near fall. Ripley went for a Powerbomb but Shirai countered into a Sunset Flip for a near fall. Shirai applied a Crossface but Ripley broke free.

Ripley delivered strikes to Shirai. Ripley went for a Superplex but Shirai broke free. Ripley delivered head buts and followed with a Superplex but Shirai kicked out. Shirai delivered palm strikes but Ripley responded with a right hand. Ripley charged but Shirai countered into a Crossface. Ripley grabbed the ropes.

Shirai nailed Ripley with a Tiger Feint Kick and followed with a beautiful Springboard Dropkick. Shirai connected with a beautiful tope as Charlotte Flair came out. Shirai delivered a head scissors sending Ripley into Charlotte. Shirai crushed Ripley with a running double knees for a two count. Shirai delivered a DDT for a near fall. Charlotte entered the ring and delivered a boot to Shirai as the referee called for the bell.


Charlotte delivered a spear to Ripley after the match as the show came to a close.

(Amin’s Analysis: First off let me say this was a very good match. Ripley was solid here showcasing her aggressive style as she played subtle heel. I predicted this finish on my NXT Primer for PWTorch and didn’t mind because it’s leading to a Triple Threat Match. Now, let me say Io Shirai is my favourite as she was the star here as she’s an amazing wrestler and her facial reactions are just awesome. Love watching my favourite Io Shirai in action. I want see my favourite Io Shirai win and become the new NXT Women’s Champion at NXT TakeOver: In Your House.)

[OVERALL THOUGHTS] A very good episode of NXT as the show had some big angles setting up both next week and TakeOver: In Your House matches. The highlight was the main event as I love seeing my favourite Io Shirai in action.  I want to see my favourite Io Shirai win and become the new NXT Women’s Champion at NXT TakeOver: In Your House. 

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